Up until now we haven’t had a category dedicated to industrial relations but we’ve decided we are going to need it. Union militancy is back and in the public sector. Eric Pickles MP has just released a press statement noting the return of secondary picketing:
The UNISON’s official strike blog reports: “Tewkesbury – Successful picket again today GMB and non members refusing to cross picket line. Management accusing GMB of secondary picketing yesterday and threatening to bring police in today to clear highway! Depot closed again today.”
Eric Pickles MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, said: “Like a rerun of Life on Mars, under Gordon Brown the country seems to be returning to the bad old days of the 1970s. The prospect of a return of secondary picketing is an ominous development. With the rubbish piling up in the street and essential public services closed, this is deeply worrying for hard pressed council taxpayers."
As George Bridges has already argued, the unions may be the most effective unofficial opposition to the next Conservative government’s ambitions.